The Tampa Firefighters 6th Annual Pediatric Burn Survivor 5K and 1 mile walk, benefits Camp Hopetake, a summer camp for previsously burned children of all ages.
Tampa Firefighters Local 754 in conjunction with Tampa General Hospital's Burn Unit is in it's 24th year of working as staff members, financially supporting, organizing, sponsoring and hosting Camp Hopetake, a camp for children that have been seriously burned. Hopetake provides a safe and supportive environment for kids to share their feelings and interact with other young burn victimes from all over Florida in a week long adventure in Tampa. This non-threatening atmosphere allows them to enjoy activities including swimming, bowling, fishing, games, crafts, movies and more as they cope with the social and emotional scars associated with their injuries.
Your participation in this event allows us to continue our support and commitment to Camp Hopetake!
Pretty soon, we were almost ready to go - they called everyone over to the start. A huge ladder truck extended its ladder over the course and two firemen unfurled a giant American flag from it. The National Anthem was played, and soon the horn was sounded and the race started. I was off like a shot, Kathleen said so. :) I always start off fast, and this race was no exception - I can't help it. My legs were burning by the first half mile. I skipped the first water stop, but got some at every stop thereafter if only to give me a psychological boost. Halfway, I was pretty spent, but I had looked forward to this race for a while and felt a PR was so close. According to my Garmin, my pace still looked great.
I had carefully crafted a playlist the night before of songs to keep me fast and pumped up and it worked. And it also only lasted 26:17, so if the music ran out, I better be near the finish line. My previous PR was 27:36 at 2014's Lowry Park Zoo Run Run 5K. Once I had a mile left, I knew I could push through the burning muscles and I did! I got a PR! My official finishing time was 25:51.1. I was the 99th person to cross the finish line, the 66th man - out of 519 total runners. I was 6th in my division (Men, 30-34) out of 17. I am very proud of this accomplishment.
I started training for the Star Wars Dark Side Challenge in January, and sticking to all but two of my training runs allowed me on Weight Watchers to lose 26.8 pounds (so far!) and get a 10K PR and 5K PR. Looking forward to my back-to-back half marathons in two weeks, and hoping for a PR there as well.